I first started to get interested in aviation when I was a kid living in Chicago Il. my grandfather, and two uncles were pilots whom were very big into sailplanes at the time. So of course my mom would drop us off for some days at the glider club (farm field) for some time with the grandparents. I recall being bewildered at watching another plane pull up another motor-less plane into the air. Years went by and that part of the family moved out west to Nevada. Essentially to be close the best soaring in the world, Minden, Nevada. I visited and received a real taste of soaring. Crewing, going on land outs, putting the gilders together and yes of course a few rides. More years pass and I found myself training for my private ticket in that same area of the north west suburbs of IL. I recalled the day I first soloed it was cold in early March, finally I was in the air alone. It was one of the best days of my life to be in control of the glider and flying with birds my grandfather would of been proud.
Further down the line I had always taken photos, probably because my father always was into photos and the old 8mm movies. Essentially I believe it was to document all us kids growing up. I was always taking photos with an old Instamatic, disk camera and shooting family events with the family VHS camera. Of course I went through various cameras through the years and there were times I did no photography, ie girls, cars and friends took priority.
Moving to Nevada, I threw myself into photo and video. In fact I was probably one of the first or at least very early folks taking photos from remote control airplanes. For me it was a cheap little point and shoot camera on a gas 1/4 scale piper cub (late 90s). To actuate it I used just a small servo that depressed the camera button. It worked rather well and along with photos I could also take short video. So going out as a commercial business years later I created Candid Sky Productions and went to many model and full scale aviation events around the west coast including full media passes for the Reno Air Races. I shot, edited and produced dvds for sale of these events including learning how to do the artwork for dvd covers. I never had anyone teach me anything, I was always the type to just dive both feet in and figure it out with the resources I could muster on my own. I had good success with it but found out the industry if a very tough one to make a living at. You need bigger better gear, more backers for projects and so on. But, at the onset of starting the business in 2011, I wanted to do drone photo and video. However, it was not legal to do so in the states here as far as getting paid for jobs. So I still kept flying my small camera drones non commercially, but wanted to stay above board while they figured out the license issues here. Finally in 2015 the announcement was made for the part 107 and I was there on day 2 passing the test. I just did my renewal for my uav commercial certificate in Aug. 2018 and will continue to keep it up as long as I feel the need to get in the air with the latest drone.
Today the drone business in the US is a royal mess with a few billion dollar back companies running the roost including people that are on the FAA boards. Its very crooked and difficult for a small business to exist without butting heads with this sort of thing. If you venture here I wish you good luck.
I now have a home in South Florida and still spend time in Nevada. Huge differences in scenery as you might expect. However I have grown to love Florida and the oceans around it. I still have much to explore in this world and am looking forward to sharing it with my friends on here.
So from doing specialized drone mapping, shooting aviation events, real estate photography (ground and air), small video productions via my small production company I try to keep busy and fulfill my lifetime addiction of flying with the birds.